When Ohio State University Buckeyes and the University of Michigan Wolverines met in the 1968 college American football championships, Ohio soundly defeated their arch-rivals 50–14. The game will long be remembered because of what happened minutes from the end. With a commanding lead of 44–14, the Buckeyes pressed heroically to win a final touchdown. Instead of opting for the normal one-point conversion, the legendary Woody Hayes pushed unsuccessfully for a two-point conversion. After the game when he was asked by the press why he had opted for two points when the game was already won, Hayes replied, ‘Because I couldn’t go for three!’
Giving it your all results in victory not defeat; in satisfaction not regret. Enthusiasm is at the core of every worthwhile accomplishment. Paul writes, ‘It is good to be zealous in a good thing always.’ (Galatians 4:18 NKJV)
Among the disciples, one in particular was known for his enthusiasm: Simon the ‘Eager One’. Before his conversion, Simon belonged to a militant nationalist party committed to Jewish liberation from Rome. By grace, Simon the political zealot became a spiritual firebrand whose passion was channelled into the Gospel of Christ and His Kingdom.
The word enthusiasm comes from the two Greek words en Theos, meaning ‘God within’. Christian enthusiasm is God-inspired passion, driven by the Glory of God, directed by the Word of God, dedicated to the Son of God, and derived from the Spirit of God. When it comes to loving and serving Christ, giving it everything you’ve got is the only way to go! Today strive like Simon to be known as the ‘Eager One’.